Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Nov 26, 2014

SFP stupidity causes Deer Association to recommend below the line voting in Victoria

Shooters and fishermen are by nature sensible, pragmatic, active people who brave the elements and government regulation in order to pursue their sport.  Both have to be so; they could come to grief quickly from any miscalculation or inattention. 
In order to protect what rights they have left, they have formed the Shooters and Fishers Party to try to develop some political clout.
Unfortunately, unlike the membership, this party seems to be run by a mob of tossers who through either crass stupidity, or deliberate bloody mindedness have developed a long history of favouring anti-gun parties over more shooting friendly ones.
As recently as the Western Australian senate rerun, they passed their preferences to HEMP, which has no affinity with shooters, then on to Palmer, whose candidate they were instrumental in electing.  (See count 31 and 35)  Palmer detests guns and has refused to work with Bob Katter because of that. 
Despite this, in the current Victorian election, SFP have given their first preference to PUP in three regions including two where shooters have a large presence.  In one of these, (Northern) the lead Palmer candidate previously stood as a Green. 
The concern that shooting enthusiasts may inadvertently elect supporters of gun control has caused the Australian Deer Association to advocate voting below the line.  Under Victorian electoral rules voters only have to vote for five candidates below the line: 
The how-to-vote cards demonstrate that the preferences of political parties do not necessarily reflect their policies and values. In fact, it appears that, in most cases, if they do so it is more by accident than by design. 
There are four parties which are pro- hunting and shooting contesting the elections this year: Australian Country AllianceThe Liberal DemocratsThe Nationals; andThe Shooters and Fishers Party. … 
The Shooters and Fishers Party, for example, have given their first preference in Eastern Victoria, Northern Victoria (the two regions where a party which supporters hunters and shooters and other users of public land have the best chance of being elected) and Western Victoria to the Palmer United Party. 
As we have highlighted elsewhere in this newsletter, Clive Palmer is 'anti-gun' and the Palmer Party’s main candidate in Northern Victoria was the Greens’ main Northern Victoria candidate in the 2010 state elections.  The Party’s second candidate ran as an independent in the 2004 federal election on an anti-logging platform. … 
The Liberal Democrats have given their first two preferences in Eastern Victoria to the Shooters and Fishers and Australian Country Alliance, their first preference to Country Alliance in Northern Victoria and their third in Western Victoria and their first preference to Shooters and Fishers in Western Victoria and their third in Northern Victoria. … 
… Unlike voting for the Senate in Federal elections, it is easy to vote below-the-line in the Victorian Upper House elections. All you need to do is mark at least the squares of five candidates with the numbers 1 to 5. After that you may fill in as many squares as you like with consecutive numbers. …
Follow the link to see recommendations on how to maximize the shooter friendly vote by going below the line, its simple and eliminates the danger of electing gun grabbers by mistake.
It is a shame that other shooting orientated organizations like the SSAA do not have the wit or foresight to come up with or support such ideas, but continue to blindly vote the SFP ticket in the mistaken belief that they are protecting the interests of their members.
An alternative to the advice above is to vote for the Liberal Democrats.  We have placed all shooter friendly parties above the majors, including the SFP in two regions but were duded by them on the agreement.  The Liberal Democrats have an excellent raft of shooter friendly policies, and have placed Palmer down at the bottom of the ticket with the Greens across the board. 

Oct 29, 2014

Cormann reaches for his pen and his phone

Cartoon: By Bill Leak  
President Obama has been accused of ruling by decree in our language or to use the US term, by executive orders.  
Under this system a king, emperor, dictator, autocrat, or sundry despot picks up the phone and orders that his will be done.
It seems now that the minister for finance, Mathias Cormann has caught the bug and is using his pen and his phone, (to use the President’s own term) to increase fuel excise without senate approval: 
MOTORISTS are set to pay a $4 billion increase in fuel tax over the next four years despite the Senate’s objections to the controversial budget measure as the Abbott government uses administrative powers to impose the change. 
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann declared the government would adjust the indexation in the belief the change would be legislated in due course, ensuring the revenue could be raised while the Senate argues over the bill. 
The change will take effect from 10 November when the fuel tax will rise from 38.143 cents per litre to 38.6 cents per litre. 
The national average price for unleaded petrol was about 1.52 a litre last week according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum. …
The Liberals and Nationals are playing a dangerous game here if they are relying on Green support to pass this legislation.  While the Greens would welcome any legislation that raised the cost of fuel out of the reach of the poor, they will be in the box seat to move their agenda forward.
They will undoubtedly aim to eliminate the fuel rebate to non-road users, something they have always had in mind.  The fuel tax was originally designed as a user pays system of financing highway construction, although only a small portion goes toward that purpose.  The rest is pissed against the wall and the Greens are smart enough to understand that the LNP are desperate enough to sacrifice the mining and agricultural industries if it is needed to buy votes.
The Liberals have come up with some Gillardesque spin in attempting to blame Shorten in advance for any attempt to block this effort.  They are claiming that if it is not passed, the revenue raised will go back to ‘big oil’ and it will be all his fault.  There is a slight element of truth in this as the tax raised will be paid by oil companies and passed on to consumers.  If it fails to pass, the revenue will go back to those companies, not to the consumers.
It is however, completely dishonest to blame the opposition for a circumstance created by a unilateral decision by the government to start taxing now and waiting for the umpires verdict.
It is worth noting that from the figures above, about 25% of the cost of a tank of fuel goes to the government and they want more.

Oct 3, 2014

Senate ‘Q&A’ style panel to investigate Qld government

Or: Beware of Greens bearing gifts

Cartoon: By Paul Zanetti 
About the only thing that inspires any confidence that the Newman government is doing anything right is that crony capitalist and white shoe brigade wannabe, Clive Palmer has an obsessive hatred of it.
After years of being in bed with the LNP and a major donor to it, Clive has spat the dummy after receiving unfavourable decisions on some of his projects. 

While most ex-mistresses settle for writing tell-all books or at least a series of well-paid television interviews, Clive has instead used his diminishing wealth to establish his own political party, which he uses to obstruct the federal government’s agenda and use as a stalking horse against the Newman government.
He has now done a deal with Labor and the Greens to set up an inquiry into the Queensland government: 
... Clive Palmer has been engaged in a bitter and long-running personal feud with Premier Campbell Newman and has now been given a significant weapon to use against him.  It is a loss for the Federal Government which had successfully seen off a previous attempt to establish the inquiry, arguing it was without legal precedent and overrides parliamentary convention. 
Over the next six months the committee will examine Queensland's use of Commonwealth funds, the administration of the state's judicial system, and questions around development and environmental approvals. 
The select committee, which will consist of five members but only one from the Coalition, has a reporting date on or before March 27 next year, very close to the date of the next Queensland election. 
Mr Newman is on holidays but issued a statement calling the inquiry a stunt. His federal counterparts said the inquiry would abuse an established principle that federal and state parliaments stay out of each other's business. 
Senator Eric Abetz, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, said it was part of Mr Palmer's vendetta against Mr Newman. "Basically it's a bitch session about Queensland," Senator Abetz said. …
The composition of the inquiry is very reminiscent of the ABC’s Q&A show in which one member of the right is confronted by three or four lefties plus the moderator.  In this case, the Liberals who have 33 senators have a single representative, Labor (25) have two, the Greens (10) have one, and PUP (3) also have one.
The inquiry was scuttled on an earlier attempt to set it up when the Liberals moved to include the Bligh Labor government’s activities as well.  This one was supposed to avoid such scrutiny.
In further developments, Labor and PUP have found they have been duded by the Greens
The backing of the Greens was crucial to the Palmer United Party’s third attempt to secure a Senate investi­gation into all ­aspects of Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s Liberal Nat­ional Party government. 
Greens senator for Queensland Larissa Waters denied her party had been caught up in what the Abbott government has dubbed Mr Palmer’s “personal vendetta’’ against Mr Newman. 
“The terms of reference that we’ve had included will ensure that we can look at not just the Newman government’s environmental track record but the dodgy coal-seam gas approvals under the Bligh (Labor) government, and also Mr Palmer’s own activities with his mega mines in the Galilee and his Yabulu refinery on the shores of the Great Barrier Reef,’’ Senator Waters said. 
Yabula is Australia’s highest emitting nickel refinery.  
The Newman government is taking legal advice on the inquiry, and is expected to turn the tables on PUP and use the Senate probe to retaliate and dump on Mr Palmer and Labor. ...
Palmer and Labor would do well to remember the old adage; beware of Greens bearing gifts.

Sep 24, 2014

Probable terrorist incident in Melbourne

Initial reports were of a stabbing of two police officers in suburban Melbourne, however as more information becomes available, there is little doubt that this incident is terrorist related: 
A MAN shot dead by police in Melbourne’s southeast tonight was a “person of interest” in a counter-terrorism operation and had been under surveillance for making threats against Prime Minister Tony Abbott. 
Senior intelligence sources confirmed he was among a number of people who have had their passports cancelled recently. 
A Victoria Police officer and Australian Federal Police agent involved in a joint agency investigation were stabbed by an occupant of a car they pulled over outside Endeavour Hlils police station about 7.40pm. 
It is believed the Victoria Police officer drew his gun and shot the alleged attacker dead.It is not known what the threat involved, or whether the man had been involved in planning some kind of attack.  It is understood the counter terrorism operation was aimed at detaining and questioning the man in relation to the threats. 
A bomb squad officer dressed in an explosives suit and bomb squad robot are combing the police station as forensic detectives comb the scene. 
The Prime Minister was tonight on a plane to New York from Canberra, where he will attend UN meetings dealing with the rising threat of Islamic State. 
A Monash Health spokeswoman confirmed one of the officers was taken to Dandenong Hospital in a stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. He was expected to be discharged late tonight or tomorrow. The other was taken to The Alfred and his condition is unknown.
There are unconfirmed reports that the second officer is in a critical condition.  We wish him well and hope for a speedy recovery, and thank both of them for their effort on our behalf.
While it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the difference between random acts of drug, alcohol, insanity, or radical Islamic fueled acts of violence, this one appears to be the latter.
The passport cancellation is most likely the result of a reasonable suspicion that the person involved was attempting to leave the country in order to join foreign fighters in conflict zones.  Threats against the prime minister (or anyone else for that matter) are not to be tolerated and it is reasonable to suggest that the police officers were within their rights here.
While its possible that the suspect was playing with a couple of cards short of a full deck, or the odd fatwa short of a jihad, there are reasonable grounds to think that this is a terrorist incident.

Sep 15, 2014

Fred Nile calls for dress code

Cartoon: by R May 
Australia’s wowser in chief, Fred Nile is having a second crack at banning the burqa, or at least preventing the covering of the face in public.   He doesn’t mention the terms, burqa or Muslims in his bill and it will be interesting to see how this affects brides at traditional Christian weddings.
Fred is a man who knows what he hates and believes that all things he detests need to be prohibited via the auspices of the great and good benevolent state which, under his gentle guidance knows what is best for all of us.
He will though, allow us to wear ski masks in a blizzard, but only if it becomes fashionable: 
He says the measures come at an "opportune" time after Wednesday's arrest in Queensland of two men allegedly linked to terrorist groups in Syria. 
"We also face the new Islamic State (IS) terrorist threat, whose black uniforms for both men and women include face coverings to prevent identification," he told the upper house.Labor MP Amanda Fazio said the measures were "anti-Islamic" and had more to do with Mr Nile's bid for re-election in March. … 
… Under Mr Nile's plan, a person who covers their face in public would face a $550 fine and a person who forces someone else to cover their face would be hit with a $1100 penalty. 
The plan allows faces to be covered under certain conditions, such as during a parade or if "Sydney is suddenly hit by a blizzard and ski masks are the latest fashion", the MP said. … 
… John Blaxland, an intelligence and security expert at the Australian National University, said authorities already had powers to ask for face coverings to be removed.  He said Mr Nile's plan was unlikely to be supported by the security community. …
It is uncertain why the time is “opportune because of the arrest of two men with terrorist links.”  None of the reports on the incident indicate that either of them was wearing a burqa at the time.
It is difficult to see this as anything other than an attempt to capitalize on anti-Islamic sentiment using their traditional dress as an excuse.  We shouldn’t fall for the PC line that anti-terrorism measures are by nature anti-Islamic, (we have yet to see a Lutheran or Baptist suicide bomber) but banning religious symbols does nothing to improve our security.

Sep 3, 2014

Bob Day; “enemy of the state”

Image: Bob Day, Weatherill’s nominee for first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Since the demise of Leonid Brezhnev and later the Soviet Union, the term, ‘enemy of the state’ has largely gone out of fashion.  While there are occasional references to it from regimes like North Korea, and Zimbabwe, its use in the west is virtually zero.
South Australian premier Jake Weatherill has resurrected it though with his reference to SA Senator, Bob Day as an enemy of the state over his opposition to interstate tax transfer payments: 
… Mr Weatherill describes the­ ­fellow South Australian as an “enemy’’ of the state and a “lost cause’’.
“Senator Day wants to cut more deeply than even Tony Abbott wants to cut,’’ the Premier told a Senate select committee on health yesterday. 
“Senator Day wants to sell out South Australia to the Western Australians and hand over $1 billion of our GST payments. Senator Day is an enemy of South Australia. I don’t need to meet with him.’’ 
Senator Day hit back, saying the Weatherill government just wanted to “spend, spend, spend’’. 
“The Premier shouldn’t come to Canberra just to listen to those who will tell him what he wants to hear, but to those with initiatives to help South Australia,’’ he said. …
Weatherill is being dishonest here in his claim that Bob supports ‘handing over $1 billion of South Australia’s GST payments’ to Western Australia.  The reality is that for every dollar contributed by SA in GST, it receives $1.29 back, the majority of the additional sum coming from Western Australia.
WA on the other hand, receives only $0.38c per dollar back from its dollar, soon to be reduced substantially.
The money Weatherill is talking about is not South Australia’s; it is the proceeds of an interstate welfare arrangement based on the idea of from each according to his ability to each according to his need.  This may be the origin of Weatherill’s ‘enemy of the state’ nonsense.  Perhaps Jake will use some of that Western Australian and New South Wales money to establish a reeducation facility for Bob.
Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned “capitalist (or imperialist) running dog?

Aug 23, 2014

Oh great; we give $21.6 million to Disney, or:

Captain Jack meets the broken window theory
Most of us today are familiar with Bastiat’s broken window theory, where those observing the replacement of a broken pane of glass tend to look on the bright side by thinking of how good it is for the glazier to get the trade.  Bastiat points out though that this ignores the fact that the window owner is left with no gain for his expense, and the cobbler, tailor, or perhaps bookseller who might have benefitted from the trade instead, miss out. 
Keynesian economists though, love broken windows and never cease telling us at the advent of any disaster, just how good all of the resultant repair work will be for the economy.  The Kiwis were said to be the luckiest people in the world after the Christchurch earthquakes
Our Treasurer Joe Hockey though, sees no reason to hang around waiting for something bad to happen in order to strip the economy of funds to repair damage.  Joe is ahead of the game to the point where he supports event and project lobby groups in spending on what aint broke.  Krugman is so yesterday.
Instead of spending money on devastation, he wants to piss it away on something fun, like making movies with similar results:
MOVIE giant Disney is being offered a near $22 million treasure chest to bring Johnny Depp’s billion dollar Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to the Gold Coast. 
The Bulletin understands high-level discussions have taken place between US film bosses, Screen Queensland and the Federal Government to bring the lucrative franchise to Warner Bros’ Village Roadshow studios at Oxenford. 
The sweetener being dangled in front of producers of the film, tentatively titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is a one-off payment of $21.6 million. 
The money, originally offered by the Gillard Government to Disney for director David Fincher’s stalled 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea reboot, is at the centre of talks, with hopes the funds can be transferred to the Pirates production, which is expected to begin shooting early next year.  The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has also met with Disney.
A film industry insider told the Bulletin discussions had progressed well and that the project was desperately needed for the city’s stalling film industry.  “We really need this movie for the Gold Coast and we are hoping things come together,” the source said. … 
… Gold Coast Tourism boss Martin Winter said securing the filming of a major blockbuster would pay dividends for the city. “The most immediate opportunity would be with the set itself becoming an attraction for people to visit, similar to the ship construction on The Spit for the Chronicles of Narnia film,” he said. 
“However, the long-term benefit to the local economy would clearly be the boost to employment numbers and if we reinforce the industry then it can only be a great thing for the Gold Coast.” …
Effectively, there is little difference between the two ideas; the first being that the diversion of funds to disaster reparations is an economic boon, and the second being that a similar diversion towards an unnecessary project does the same.
Both have visible results to show for the expenditure.  In both cases the lost opportunities of non-government activities in the private sector with the money used for those purposes cannot be assessed.
Industry and regional lobbyists can point to the relatively small amount per capita to be used for this project and the benefits that will accrue to little battlers like Disney and Warner Bros’ Village Roadshow, along with extra wealth for the glitter strip.  The things that might have happened instead elsewhere are invisible, because they didn’t occur.
A better solution
The real injustice of this proposal is that money is taken from taxpayers across the country and funneled into the Gold Coast, only benefitting that area.  If making the movie there really needs to happen here, a scheme that will encourage this yet benefit the wider population would be fairer.
A little imagination, (or in this case whimsy) offers a far more equitable solution to the problem of getting it made here while still spreading the benefit to the wider community.
An approach could be made to Disney offering to use $21.6 million for the following benefits to Australian viewers to encourage them to watch it if it is made here:
  • First; Every ticket sold will be rewarded by the government with a free large bucket of popcorn, soft drink, and packet of Jaffa’s, (Do they still roll those down the aisle?) to have while watching the show, and:
  • Second; Every rental or download will come with a government gift certificate for a family sized McHappy meal, (or the equivalent from Hungry Jacks, KFC, Subway, etc) along with fries, large coke, and whatever.
While this could cop some criticism from the AMA and associated health Nazis, all of the proposed benefits to the Coast would still come to fruition, and fast food joints across the nation would benefit, creating additional regional employment and generating untold wealth everywhere.
Truly, this represents a win win scenario.

Aug 8, 2014

Jew hating journalist quits rather than apologize

Few articles on the Gaza conflict could be as deliberately misleading as the one, by veteran leftist shill and apologist, Mike Carlton who launched into a quixotic diatribe under the cartoon (below, and since removed), which can only be distinguished from Nazi propaganda from the 30s and 40s by virtue of the remote control, which was not available back then.
The Sydney morning Herald has apologized for the cartoon after a week of criticism and complaints, however Carlton has engaged in a vulgar diatribe against readers who have complained.  Some have been told to f**k off, been called pathetic f***wits, likudnicks, and a variety of other abusive terms by him.
The ABC has referred to this asstrident debate with his readers.” 
After numerous complaints about this SMH apologized on his behalf, then decided to demand that he do so and accept a suspension.  Being too arrogant and self-righteous to accept this he has quit his position.  Good bye and good riddance.
Australian media coverage of the Gaza conflict has largely followed the type seen internationally with most of the journalists embedded with Hamas and reporting on the war from the terrorist side of the border.  Reportage therefore is one sided and gives a false impression of aggression by the Israelis against relatively helpless Palestinians.
Most Palestinians are helpless, but are ruled by the terrorist group Hamas which sees advantage in launching rockets into Israel from among the civilian population, who cop the consequences.
 … Yes, Hamas is also trying to kill Israeli civilians, with a barrage of rockets and guerilla border attacks. It, too, is guilty of terror and grave war crimes. But Israeli citizens and their homes and towns have been effectively shielded by the nation's Iron Dome defence system, and so far only three of its civilians have died in this latest conflict. The Israeli response has been out of all proportion, a monstrous distortion of the much-vaunted right of self defence. 
It is a breathtaking irony that these atrocities can be committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead of the Holocaust at the centre of their race memory. …
Carlton neglects to mention the tunnels through which Hamas launched attacks into Israel, which along with rocket attacks were the primary source of the necessity to invade.
His defense of Hamas appears to be based on the argument that their barrage was largely ineffective, owing to Iron Dome, which intercepted many of their rockets, more than 300 of which were reportedly defective to the point where they fell on their own population.  Incompetence in offensive actions does not make those actions excusable, nor insulate them from consequences.
There will probably still be a position available for him at the public broadcaster, The ABC, which has no worries about offending subscribers as the taxpayer picks up the tab.

Aug 5, 2014

Leyonhjelm doing the right thing for no good reason (or something)

Statists struggle to understand libertarians on those odd occasions where they actually bother to try to get a handle on the thinking behind non-interventionism and personal liberty.
Patrick Stokes, a lecturer in philosophy at Deakin University is an example of this phenomenon.  Patrick seems to think that it is not enough to accept that it is OK to let people do stuff that you might not care to do or might even not like on the grounds that it is non-coercive and doesn’t affect you.  You have to have a good reason to leave people alone in his jaded point of view.
Stokes starts off with the antics of Philip Nitschke in the euthanasia field, then attempts to link this with the LDP’s stance on same sex marriage.  He demonstrates his confusion on the subject matter by trying to link libertarian thinking to the old left/right paradigm: 
This problem isn’t unique to the euthanasia debate. Last week, newly-minted Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm announced plans to introduce a bill to legalize same sex Marriage. 
As a libertarian, Leyonhjelm has called for lower taxes and a massively reduced role for government. Yet his position on marriage equality aligns him with a policy more closely associated with the political left. … 
… Philosophers such as Richard Mohr have argued that committed same-sex relationships already are marriages in a substantive sense, and the law should simply recognise that.For libertarians (for the most part), the only real substantive good is individual autonomy. 
Leyonhjelm doesn’t argue, as far as I can see, that certain types of relationship have a special, substantive value; he simply thinks, “It is not the role of government to define relationships.” (In which case, we might ask, why should governments get involved in certifying marriage at all?) 
Those of us who support same-sex marriage can probably live with that tension, if it delivers the outcome we want. But the philosophical tension between approaches is still there. 
And the very moral thinness of libertarianism, its refusal to trade in any ethical currency other than liberty, sits uneasily with issues of life and death, where all sorts of other moral considerations are in play. …
There is no explanation offered as to why we should think, “that certain types of relationship have a special, substantive value.”  In an argument for marriage equality, it simply makes no sense to claim that one form of relationship is special, something that those opposing SSM claim as a key point.  Such a claim is counter-productive.
It is nice to know though, that statists arguing the issue as a special case for SSM as some kind of state granted privilege are prepared to hold their noses and accept Leyonhjelm’s support, even if they don’t really like it. 
He then goes on with the following doozy:
One reason death is viewed as normally being a harm to the person who dies is that it deprives us of goods we would have enjoyed had we lived. In a situation where there is nothing left in the patient’s future but pain and loss of dignity, there are no more goods to lose.
For those of us who deal more with the real world rather than academic navel gazing, the biggest reason for death to be considered a harm, is that we don’t get to live longer. 
At this point, he exposes the weakness of his argument under the rather dramatic heading of:
Libertarianism’s moral moonscape 
If you think, as Nitschke apparently does, that the question here is simply about exercising a right to suicide, why should it matter whether someone is terminally ill or not? If someone wants to die, and they’re clear-headed enough to make competent decisions, who are we to interfere with their personal liberty in order to stop them? … 
… When teaching classes on the ethical debate over euthanasia, I’ve found that students often seem to struggle with explaining why it should matter whether the patient is dying (or at least permanently debilitated) or not. Yet from a mercy perspective, it matters very much that there are, in fact, no truly good options left open. …
It sounds like those students have a more consistent view than their teacher.  To assume the right to deny a person the right to die, we are adopting the assumption that we have a right to insist that they live, even against their own wishes.  No explanation of this position is offered.
Assuming the right to refuse the right to die implies a form of ownership over the person involved which is an anathema to all decent civilized people.  The problem most of us have with Nitschke’s position on the recent suicide of a depressed 45 year old is that he didn’t advise him to seek psychiatric advice.
Nitschke is not a libertarian, never was, and never will be.  He is a statist leftist who proved in the Western Australian senate election rerun, that he prefers to support leftist parties, even those who oppose his cause to a libertarian party that in the main, supports his single issue.
In attempting to secure some sort of dispensation from the state in relation to his plea for special interest, he has fluked a position where the LDP has a similar morality based position.  This does not make him a libertarian in any way, shape, or form.
The LDP policy on voluntary euthanasia can be found here. 

Jul 30, 2014

WA Potato Marketing Corporation bites the dust

Cartoon: By R May 
It looks like Western Australia is sliding off into anarchy with the removal of another regulator.  The Potato Marketing Corporation appears to be heading towards the chopping block on the recommendation of the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) apparently at the behest of the Labor opposition.
Fears of rogue potato growers doing whatever they want and street vendors selling illicit potato products to unwary addicts in dark alleys have been dismissed: 
Arguably an anachronism in today's capitalist world, WA's Potato Marketing Act of 1946 - and its subsequent regulator, the Potato Marketing Corporation of WA - trace their history back to the shortages of the Great Depression and post-war food security. 
The corporation not only controls what potato varieties can be grown and sold, but who grows them and how much they are paid. 
It has the power to search premises, confiscate equipment and crops, and prosecute farmers - as rebel southwest potato grower Tony Galati has found over the years after being threatened with legal action for overplanting and trying to sell excess spuds cheaply. … 
… ''The Potato Marketing Corporation and Western Australia's absurd laws have stifled competition and denied choice to growers and consumers,'' Mr McGowan said.  ''No other Australian state has a body that decides what varieties of potatoes can be grown, who can grow them and at what price they can be sold. 
''It should be left to the growers to decide if they will grow a particular variety of potato.''Mr McGowan said the restrictive laws were responsible for some of Australia's highest potato prices and, of the 66 commercial varieties grown around the nation; only 13 were permitted in WA. 
''It would be comical if it wasn't so damaging to WA's economy and consumer and grower choice,'' he said. ...
Marketing authorities and regulations became popular after World War 2, possibly as a reaction to the demise of wartime rationing, fears of a free market renaissance, and a need to find spots for all of those bureaucrats likely to be left with nothing to interfere with.
Both Labor and the Liberal and Country Party, (now National Party or LNP) were very keen on the idea; the difference being that while Labor aimed to control production, distribution, and marketing of products, the conservatives chose to regulate it.  There was little difference in the result.
During the 60s, and 70s, the most heinous crimes you could commit in Queensland on the basis of penalties, were breaches of national Party orderly marketing regulations. 

Jul 23, 2014

Newman government backtracks

"In retrospect it becomes clear that hindsight is definitely overrated!" Alfred E. Neuman. (No relation to Campbell)
Cartoon: By R May
In the wake of their second crushing by-election defeat, the Newman government has decided to reverse some of its more controversial, or at least idiotic decisions made in the last couple of years.
It’s sometimes said that the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem.  The government seems to be doing this, which is something we should give them credit for.
Their task is made more difficult though, in that they apparently have little idea what the problem really is: 
Mr Newman left the door open to wind back other controversial decisions. …
… “They want us to have a good relationship with the judiciary, they want those sort of arguments to cease and desist and they want the focus of everyone to working for Queenslanders.” 
The Courier-Mail had earlier revealed Cabinet would today discuss scrapping several of the most contentious elements of reforms to Queensland’s corruption watchdog and tough anti-bikie legislation. 
The Queensland Premier spent yesterday briefing senior LNP MPs on his plans after the Government suffered a massive 18.6 per cent swing against it in Stafford. 
It is understood the Government will reintroduce a bipartisan appointments process for the chair of the newly named Crime and Corruption Commission. 
The controversial decision by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to remove the bipartisan parliamentary committee’s role in appointments was heavily condemned by former corruption inquiry head Tony Fitzgerald in one of his numerous salvos at the Newman Government. 
Cabinet will also discuss removing some of the harshest aspects of the criminal motorcycle gang legislation that Mr Newman has repeatedly insisted he does not like but were an important weapon in the war against rebel bikies. 
It is also understood Cabinet members have been assured there will be no reshuffle and each will fight on to the election and be tasked with better selling the Government’s achievements. 
A senior Government source last night said Mr Newman had briefed colleagues that the Stafford result showed the Government’s pace and extent of reform had worried Queenslanders and they must now act. …
The problem with the biker laws is not pink jumpsuits, nor isolation of these prisoners as the LNP seems to believe.  The entire act is draconian, from its aim of outlawing the act of associating through to huge penalties for being, or having been a member of an organization since declared criminal.  There were already sufficient laws to do with all aspects of criminality among these groups; making these laws unnecessary.
The idea of 15 – 25 year mandatory prison sentences for being, or having once been, a member of a currently declared organization is an anathema to fair minded Australians, and have no place in a free society.
Asset sales are going to have to be done and should be.  In a modern nation state there is really no reason for the government to run commercial enterprises.  On budgetary issues they have been respectable, although they have not yet produced a surplus.
Since taking office just over two years ago, the Queensland government has been something of a showpiece in how not to do it.  A massive majority seemed to convince the LNP that it was immortal and could act in any way it pleased, and it did.
The massive loss in the Redcliffe by-election earlier this year taught it nothing other than to pay lip service with “We’re listening.”
There is probably little likelihood of a Labor win in next year’s election; that would require a stunning turn-around in a state still suffering from buyer’s remorse from the Labor years. 
The real danger though, is where protest votes from the sizable chunk of voters who find the LNP no better will go. 
Palmer United is the elephant in the room here.  Well funded, widely publicized, under scrutinized, and led by a populist with a pathological hatred of Newman, it’s potential to hold the balance of power and render the state government unworkable should not be underestimated.
It is difficult to understand why a government that is not travelling well in the polls and by-elections would rule out a ministerial reshuffle. 
Newman needs to reconsider this, given that the issues he wants to change are all the products of one minister, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. 
Bleijie had two years since his law degree in a provincial law firm doing ‘commercial law’, (read conveyencing work) when he was elected to state parliament.  With the training wheels barely off his work practice, he was made Shadow Attorney General.  It is hardly surprising that this guy’s screw-ups have overshadowed anything that the government has actually done.
Newman really needs to tramp him.